The PISA test is a test conducted by the OECD which seeks to evaluate how educational systems prepare their students to apply their knowledge and skills in tasks that are relevant to their current and future life. This evaluation is designed to know the abilities and aptitudes of the students for the analysis and resolution of problems that allow them to handle information and face situations of adult life. PISA focuses on the evaluation of three areas: reading competence, mathematical competence and scientific competence.
This test is done every three years in 15 year old students. More than 60 countries participate today. Chile has participated in PISA in the 2001, 2006, 2009 and 2012, 2015 and 2018 cycles.
The last PISA test was the year 2015; In addition to responding to the tests of the disciplines mentioned above, the students answered a contextual questionnaire in which they were asked for information about themselves, their homes, their school and their learning experiences, and the directors had to answer a questionnaire about the school system and learning environment, this in order to portray the different educational realities in different countries.
Regarding the results of these tests and questionnaires, for the year 2015, of the OECD countries, 25% of the boys and 24% of the girls declared that they wanted to dedicate themselves to a profession related to science.
Latin America and the Caribbean, remained in the queue of the international ranking of educational quality both in reading competence, as in mathematical and scientific competence. According to the analysis of the test conducted by the OECD, the difference in performance between the countries of the region and the OECD or the countries that lead the ranking are pronounced. In science, the gap between the results of the region and the OECD average is equivalent to more than 2.5 years of schooling. This difference is extended to almost 5 years of schooling when compared to Singapore, the leading country in the ranking.
Likewise, 50% of 15-year-olds in the region do not have the essential knowledge and skills to participate fully in society. If 15-year-olds who are outside the education system and students with extra age who are still in primary school were included, the total percentage of underperforming would increase to 66%.
According to the OECD, at a time when scientific knowledge is increasingly linked to economic growth and becomes necessary to provide solutions to complex social and environmental problems, all citizens, and not just future scientists or engineers, must be prepared and willing to face dilemmas related to science.
That is why we must educate about this paradigm, make education an inclusion tool that fits the needs depending on the country and, at the same time, of effective and efficient responses to current problems.
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